Home base: London - UK
2 Projects: 'VocalSuite' and 'The Great Jamaican Songbook'
VocalSuite Style: Abstract Vocal Improvisation
VocalSuite Traveling Party: 1
The Great Jamaican Songbook Style: Reggae
The Great Jamaican Songbook Traveling Party: 7
Follow Cleveland Watkiss
Cleveland Watkiss amazing vocal experiences have seen him perform with many diverse artists from around the world such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Dylan, Jackie Mittoo, Keith Richards, the James Taylor Quartet, Art Blakey, Sly & Robbie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stevie Wonder, Patife, Carlinhos Brown, Robbie Williams, Joe Cocker, The Who, Branford Marsalis, George Martin, Lisa Stansfield, Courtney Pine, Maxi Priest, Soul II Soul, the London Chamber Orchestra, Kassa Mady, the BBC Orchestra, Goldie, the Kenny Wheeler Big Band, Sugar Minot, Bjork, Pete Townshend, the London Community Gospel Choir [LCGC] and many more.
Best Jazz Act Nominee, MOBO Awards 2017
Vocalist of the Year, Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017
Guardian Jazz Awards Best Vocalist
Best Vocalist, London Jazz Awards 2010
Using a breathtaking vocal range that makes seamless links between musical cultures, three times Wire/Guardian award-winning vocalist Cleveland Watkiss blends improvisation/counterpoint harmony, electronics, breakbeat loops and basslines (all live and from his mouth) to stunning effect, creating a unique, orchestral vocal soundscape.
VocalSuite is an elusive a capella vocal improvisation performance that uses the atmosphere of venue, mood and interactivity of audience to present a performance of the moment; seamless links between musical cultures from Africa
to Europe go together to create human vocal soundscapes.
VocalSuite fuses voice and technology, using real-time looping to create live compositions. No two performances are ever the same. Using technology to record, then layer the voice, an orchestral piece is created that is composed right before the audience. Sometimes Cleveland uses the audience as contributors to the piece, and he always reflects the mood and ambience of the space.
The Great Jamaican Songbook
It is well known that Jamaica has a long history of pioneering musical sounds from Mento, Ska, Reggae, Dub, Roots, Hiphop, Jungle/DnB, and way beyond with many of it's internationally celebrated musicians spawning from that great musical institution (The Alpha Boys School) under the tutelage of
(The Nun) Sister Mary Ignatius Davis.
Record labels and producers like Studio One, Coxsone Dodd, TuffGong, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, and King Tubby were all highly Influential in the development of Jamaican Music along with musicians, singers and performers like Don Drummond, Ernest Ranglin, Barratt Brothers, Jackie Mittoo, Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace, Alton Elis, Ken Booth, The Wailers, Millie Small, Marcia Griffith, Dawn Penn, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Burnin Spear, Jonny Osbourne and many many others.
Songs that tell poignant stories, about the times, and the culture, with that deep and infectious original laid back drum and bass rhythm.
Italy-Sun & Bass festival in Sardinia
UK Ronnie Scotts & London Jazz Festival QEH
London - Jazzcafe-Camden
*The Great Jamaican Songbook*
UK - Lichfield Festival (artist in residence 2019)
UK - EFG London Jazz Festival QEH 2019
UK - Stables-Milton Keynes -2020
UK - St Georges-Bristol-UK 2020